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Ditko's Monsters: Gorgo! (Ditko Monsters) Hardcover – March 19, 2013
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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If you're familiar with the movie, then you already know it differed from other films of its type in several very important ways. It featured two monsters - a mother and her offspring, and it also had a happy ending (well, at least for the monsters). Those two qualities, along with a great musical score, solid storyline and excellent special effects resulted in Gorgo becoming one of my all time favorite monster movies. My love for the film has only increased over the past five decades. I have owned it on VHS, DVD, and the soon to be released Blu-ray.
Not long after hitting the theaters, the first Gorgo comic book hit the newsstands. Issue #1 was basically a movie tie-in, recreating the film in comic book format, featuring artwork by Steve Ditko. A paperback novelization came out more or less around the same time. Both are still in my collection, along with a number of later Gorgo comics, with artwork by Ditko as well as number of others. Gorgo comic #2, also drawn by Ditko and contained in this book, is a great story in itself, and could have easily been turned into a sequel to the movie. I think perhaps it is my favorite of the entire run of the comics.
Admittedly, I am much more of a Gorgo fan than I am necessarily a Steve Ditko fan. I've always found Ditko's work to be more or less on a par with other comic book artists of the day, but I never found it to be especially outstanding or noteworthy. In fact, looking through the illustrations of this marvelous book, while I think his work in the early issues was indeed excellent, I do feel the quality began to suffer somewhat in the later issues. Don't get me wrong - the guy is good. I just have never been able to quite figure out what set him apart from his peers. I realize what I'm saying might sound blasphemous to diehard Ditko fans, but it's simply my opinion.
But don't let that deter you from checking out this gorgeous book. Whether you're a Gorgo fan, a Ditko fan, or just a comic book fan in general, this presentation is a fantastic time capsule of early to mid-60s comic book story telling. The plots range from simple to fairly complex, to downright contrived. But through it all, every time Gorgo rises from the ocean, you can be assured of some monstrously colorful action and mayhem.
As mentioned by another reviewer, the hardcover binding has what appears to be a slightly reptilian texture to it. Whether this was intentional or not, it's still pretty cool, and does make me wonder what they're going to do with the upcoming Konga hardcover. And the barcode on the back has to be worth the price of the book all by itself! Inside are photos and lobbycard reproductions from the movie, along with a short history of the film, as well as a history of Steve Ditko's involvement with Charlton and his work on their Gorgo comics. At over 200 pages, this is simply a flat out impressive book, one I will be proud to have in my collection or even on my coffee table. I can't say enough about this book.
Steve Ditko is mostly known now a days for his art of Spider Man and Beware The Creeper and Dr. Strange. But, there was a time he was also known for his beautiful and outrageous sci-fi and monster art work for Charlton and Marvel. Sadly this was mostly forgotten until this wonderful book. Yes, the reproduction is not up to todays standard. In this case with "Gorgo" that helps with the enjoyment of this book. The reproduction will remind you of when a realative or a old family friend would give you their old comics from when they were a child. It's that kind of look to the printing. Don't get me wrong its clear and easy to read, but it does have the "Old Charlton Comic" look. If you love old monster comics or a fan of Steve Ditko's art. You will love this book. I wish Marvel would start reprinting their old Jack Kirby/Steve Ditko monster comics in a affordable volume like this. I can't wait to see KONGA in a few months. I've already pre-ordered mine.
This book collects #'s: 1-3, 13-16, and Return of Gorgo #2 and 3.
the 1960s after all. And you'll love what Gorgo does to the Bar Code on the back cover.